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What are your goals, as APA president, for APA’s international engagement and for infusing an international perspective into APA’s own vision, activities, and initiatives?

52 shullmanSandra L. Shullman (www.sandyshullmanforapapresident.com) 


In its 2009 vision statement, APA aspired to be “a principal leader and global partner promoting psychological knowledge and methods to facilitate resolution of personal, societal, and global challenges…” Yet, the 2009 implementation of the strategic plan reflected no international perspective in its goals and objectives.

As APA establishes its second strategic plan in 2019, we must correct this and infuse a global perspective into US psychology. As APA President, I would:

  • Define global partnership as central in APA’s strategic plan with specific action-steps and accountabilities
  • Integrate an international, epistemologically-diverse perspective into all aspects of APA’s work—science, applied psychology, healthcare, education, public interest and advocacy
  • Encourage international psychologists to join APA and engage with international psychology organizations
  • Build upon the Report of the BEA/CIRP Task Force on APA’s Role in International Quality Assurance (Shullman, Chair, 2009) by continuing collaborative exchanges of psychological knowledge/methods and partnering with other international psychological associations through Memoranda of Understanding (MOU’s)
  • Ensure all APA policies, resolutions and guidelines consider international perspectives and implications
  • Expand the accessibility and inclusion of international colleagues in APA staff, governance and leadership roles
  • Take steps to develop paths for practica/internships outside the US
  • Encourage internationalization of the US psychology curriculum, emphasizing epistemologically-diverse perspectives
  • Focus on continuing development of strategic, international psychological science, training and practice partnerships, collaborating with regional leaders, governments, NGO’s and academic institutions.

Finally, psychology worldwide has substantive knowledge and resources related to issues such as ethical immigration, slavery, racism, terrorism, human rights violations, oppression, peace and justice, poverty, human trafficking, and education/health disparities. APA can partner collaboratively, disseminating international scientific information and encouraging development of culturally relevant and epistemologically-diverse, knowledge-based interventions, training, education and health approaches. We need a visible, strong moral compass, promoting ethical engagement and social responsibility throughout psychology in our work around the world.